A care home resident in Purley has been left ecstatic after her favourite Hollywood star and new-found friend sent her a 94th birthday gift.

In March, Penny Gladding, celebrated her 10th anniversary at Signature Care Home in Purely, by throwing a Liam Neeson themed party.

Liam heard about the party and personally called Penny to thank her and have a chat over the phone.

Last month, Penny celebrated her 94th birthday at Signature Care Home and she was surprised with gifts and a hand written note from the movie star.

Penny says she was “delighted” with her gifts from Liam - which he had promised to send during the original phone call.

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In her special birthday note, the star of the Taken trilogy addressed her as “my lovely Penny” and offered her a “big Irish hug”.

Penny told Your Local Guardian: “I hardly ever use the words love, but I do love him.

“To speak with him is out of this world, I still can’t believe it.

“He is a really lovely man, as well as a great actor.

“He sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a vase, as well as a handwritten – it was wonderful.”

Rebecca, who is currently Penny’s representative at the care home, claims that Penny is Liam’s “number one fan”, as she sleeps with a life-size cardboard cut-out of the movie star.

Rebecca said: “Penny has hundreds of pictures of Liam scattered across her bedroom, it’s great.

“She really is his number one fan.

“He rang Penny on March 14, and it was completely out of the blue.

“I was literally at my desk about to leave for the day, and I was suddenly through to Liam Neeson.

“We had a nice chat for a little while like he was a friend, he asked me questions about my job and Penny.

“He is such a lovely man.”

Your Local Guardian: Penny and flowers from Liam NeesonPenny and flowers from Liam Neeson

Penny’s friendship with the superstar dates back to her Liam-themed celebration last month marking a decade spent as a Signature at Purley resident, after moving in with her late husband Claude in 2012.

Signature at Purley staff and Penny are hopeful for Liam to pop by and meet in person - so the pair can continue to build upon their blossoming friendship.

Tina Dawson, General Manager at Signature at Purley, said: “Penny thoroughly enjoys watching his blockbuster hits especially the thriller Taken in her spare time.

“Liam is her favourite actor, so it is lovely to see he has continued to reach out to our Penny despite his hectic schedule.

“It truly means the world to her that he got back in touch specifically for her birthday, and I am certain she cherishes their growing friendship.”